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14 hours ago

Absolutely, my favorite hike in the area. Six Ridge Crossing’s on the north side of the loop are quite taxing. But the scenery and the beautiful forests make it all worthwhile. I plan on doing it again this fall just to experience the different colors.

hiking
16 hours ago

It’s a strenuous one, but it’s beautiful! I do wish that they had the trails marked a little more… Sometimes it gets confusing. There are many incredible things to see on this trail though, So I think you’ll be pretty happy no matter what.

The sunrise views were AMAZING

Amazing hike, best I have done in West Texas/southern New Mexico so far. Trail is well maintained and easy to follow. You can wear shorts if you choose, no bushwhacking involved. Great view at the top and there was just a slight breeze the entire time I hiked, even with a strong wind on the drive up. 1.5hrs up, 1hr down (jogged a good portion down).
The route is closer to 8mi round trip.

4/21/18 Drop dead gorgeous views at every step! It has moderate steepness but the rewarding views are worth it! Definitely need microspikes! Some spots were a bit slippery/on edge!

backpacking
2 days ago

A few friends and I hiked this trail about 2 weeks ago right after it snowed about 3 feet. It was the most beautiful and breathtaking hike I’ve ever done.

Attempted this hike 2 times before in January and February but failed due to not having snowshoes and hiking through extremely dangerous winds, but finally finished the entire hike to Sky Pond on 4/15 with the proper equipment. The trail from Glacier Gorge should be 9.8 miles RT (rather than 8.1 miles according to this site) since it’s 2.2 miles to the split point between Loch Vale and Mills Lake, and then another 2.7 miles to Sky Pond from the split point.

By far my favorite hike I’ve done so far! Views throughout the entire hike were very scenic, rather than just one nice view at the end of the trail. The canyon and basin views were amazing throughout the hike and the frozen lakes (Loch Vale, Lake of Glass, and Sky Pond) were all extremely breathtaking. The first 2.2 miles of the trail were moderate with some slippery snow so I used my yaktrax. Once you pass Loch Vale you will definitely need snowshoes as the snow can get knee deep. The hike up to Lake of Glass from the basin area above the tree line was extremely steep and slippery, definitely the most difficult part of the trail, so take your time with this part (snowshoes not recommended for this part.) It took me 6.25 hours to finish the trip because of the snow and ice, it probably would have only taken me about 4 hours to complete if the trail was clear. Will definitely come back in the summer to hike it!

Hiking in the snow! Great scenery along the way! Many folks had skis or snow shoes, but I was just fine with crampons and poles. I had a really hard time with the lungs of flatlander, but you feel awesome when you come off that last ridge.

This was my first hiking experience in Colorado and I’ll never forget it. There are several scenic places along the trail that would each be worthy destinations. The last of the lakes on the trail, Emerald Lake, is a generous reward for a moderate half-day hike.

hiking
5 days ago

What an amazing view at the top! This is a great hike to take visitors to. It's not too long, not too hard, and such an amazing payoff at the end!

As always, start early!

hiking
5 days ago

I really enjoyed this trail. It had a number of interesting views, before you get to the spectacular Devils Hall. Note: many of the rocks along the trail, particularly in the wash, are rather new rocks that afford you good traction. But be very careful getting overly confident with your foot placement, because a large number of the rocks have been there a long time and are as smooth as polished rock. This is especially true when you get to the ledge section of the river bed, before getting to the Devils Hall. There are lots of good hand holds and footholds at that section, but the rock surface has been worn smooth from all the times water has rushed down through it.

I really enjoyed hiking to the top of Texas' highest peak. Thank you very much to the people responsible for building and maintaining this well-maintained trail. Thank you also to whoever was responsible for putting the shiny metal monument marker at the top of the mountain. It was very cool having such a prominent marker at the top of the mountain. Note: near the top of the trail, well above the camping area, there's a section of the trail where you can take it to the left or the right, and both places and up back on the trail, but you should take the left way that has you go over bed rock to the opposite side of the ridge, rather than the right side (muddy) which takes you needlessly over a short but steep "up and down" back to the trail. Both ways work, but you can save yourself a bit of needless aggravation by taking the correct trail path that goes left at the spot,

Gorgeous hike on a gorgeous day. Spikes were essential up to the Loch, and poles were helpful after the trail splits to Hiyaha. Wind was brisk at the Loch but calm enough to break for a snack. We’d made good time and decided to try for Sky Pond. Definitely a good decision, but snowshoes would have been helpful. Wind was pretty calm at Sky Pond, and the views were fantastic. Definitely recommend doing the full hike in the winter if you haven’t!

Extremely popular trail. We started at 6:30 in the morning and didn't have to share Emerald Lake with too many people, so going early will earn you a little more serenity. It's gorgeous all the way there.

Hiked this on a Monday, 4/16 ~0930. Only shared the trail with 1 other couple but the lot was filled by the time we left. Microspikes absolutely needed, gorgeous hike! Can be difficult to find the trail at first, just take a left at the huge boulder after Nymph

hiking
7 days ago

We hiked this with 4 kids aged 5 through 9. We made many stops along the way but was delightfully enjoyed by all. We were there in July, the trail was crowded but less so as we passed the first two lakes. We swam in the lake, it was wicked cold, and then basked in sun on the large rocks to dry off. Great times by all.

hiking
9 days ago

Went with two buddies. Added some extra stuff to make a total of 38 miles in 1.5 days. Was definitely a mental test. Numerous water crossings. Beautiful views. Very rocky terrain. If you aren’t experienced and/or want to enjoy it then take 2-3 days to do. Plenty of options for water refill/filtration. Bring water crossing shoes. Great weekend hike!!

backpacking
9 days ago

One of the best loop trails in the country. Close to thirty miles and very challenging. I only suggest this trail for experienced backpackers. If you are up for it, you will be rewarded with beautiful Arkansas scenery, wildlife, and experiences for a lifetime. Numerous creek crossings, very cold in the winter. Spot your trail across the creek before crossing. Pack river crossing shoes. Most creeks are wet year round. Pack maps with accurate narratives. Tim Ernst's narrative is spot on. The Athens Big Fork section is one of the toughest trails in Arkansas. You will scale 6 mountains. Girlfriend and I hiked this trail in March in three days and set aside an entire day for the ABF section. Took us about an hour per mountain and we are in shape. Plenty of campsites along the trail. I do not suggest camping in low spots near the creeks because these creeks are prone to flooding and are known to claim lives in the process. If you are up for the challenge and prepared, you will have the time of your life!

Hiked 4/14. Trail was mostly snow pack all the way to the Loch, after that snowshoes are a must unless you like postholing every step all the way to timberline falls. We had only poles and crampons but made the extra work easier. Otherwise trail was clear for the most part and views were awesome, with all the lakes well frozen.

snowshoeing
12 days ago

(8 p.m. - 11 p.m.) Snowing at Bear Lake parking lot and all the way through Emerald Lake. Nymph and Dream both had water on top of the ice and had to walk along their shores. Used crampons from the parking up to Dream Lake and then switched to snowshoes. Wind has always picked up at the start of Dream Lake, with the snow visibility was poor, needed to use a head lamp to and from Emerald Lake. It was a good trip!

Great for most levels of ability. No need for snow shoes, was just fine in microspikes, probably wouldn’t recommend without. Beautiful views throughout the hike.

Beautiful, fun hike! Did on 4/11 and traction definitely helped, especially coming down. You definitely don’t need snowshoes right now though. The trail is pretty easy to follow for the most part. Just make sure when leaving Nymph Lake, you go on the left side of the rock, not the right.

backpacking
14 days ago

Great trail, well marked and kept. Rained all weekend but did not detract from our enjoyment. The climbs are no joke, and there is a lot of water crossings, so be prepared

Words can’t describe the beauty of the entire hike. Not a bad hike at all good for everybody

backpacking
16 days ago

So fun! Went when it was rainy and 65 degrees. Watch out for poison oak on the trails though. We went along the Little Missouri Falls trails.

Kristen and I went to top and back in under 4 hours. I agree it is more like a 9 mike hike. Trail is perfectly marked. Saw deer on hillside above us. One super windy section near the Guadalupe campground. Great hike. Great view.

hiking
18 days ago

Very beautiful area, you’ll definitely need micro spikes and trekking poles, it made a world of difference even on the easy bear lake hike. Unfortunately we got lost after nymph lake and had to turn back. Wish there was some visual marker after nymph lake.

The mountain shop is 30 minutes away, not 12 minutes as one reviewer posted so best to get the spikes first.

hiking
19 days ago

Beautiful but strenuous trail.
The last 500 feet is rocky with a fair amount of scree. I fell at the top when my boot caught the edge of a rock. Five miles of hiking, 3000 ft of elevation and sixty mile trip to Carlsbad ER who, I might add, were very caring and did a great job stitching me up.
Everyone at the summit agreed and compared GPS’s, this is a 10 mile hike not 8.8, 9.2... that trail signs and books claim.

Nice hike, easy to follow trail with abundance of markers and maps at crossroads. It's not the most spectacular hike in the refuge, though the well known, beautiful 40 foot canyon is part of it.

This was a difficult hike but worth the view at the top! It is up hill most of the way there, with some flat breaks. Don’t be fooled by all the false peaks, we kept thinking we were close to the top and then we would see a higher peak.

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